The Board of Trustees’ search for a permanent SIUC chancellor is underway at the same time the BOT seeks a new system president. Board Chair Phil Gilbert discussed the ongoing searches at the first trustees’ meeting of the academic year last Thursday. 

Search for next SIUC chancellor announced 

As the board hopes to name a new system president around late December or early January, Gilbert said the new president will be heavily involved in the search for Carbondale’s next chancellor. Gilbert said he hopes to have found a permanent SIUC chancellor within approximately six months. 

The timing of this search results from a need for stability across the system, particularly for SIUC, according to Gilbert. 

“Stability is critical for the SIU system, and especially on the Carbondale campus, there has not been a lot of stability in recent years,” Gilbert said. “So, the board felt, and this was a conversation with Chancellor Dunn, that this was the right time to start the search for his replacement.” 

Board provided presidential search updates 

Over 20 applicants submitted applications to be the SIU system president, and the board is in the process of getting ready to interview a select group from this pool, according to Gilbert. 

Gilbert said the permanent system president will have to wear many different hats, including taking on the roles of an academic leader, facilitator between all campuses and a salesperson when facing legislators. 

“It’s very important that we have someone who can work with the legislature over in Springfield and Washington D.C. because resources are critical to the success of the SIU system,” Gilbert said. “We need to have resources to do our job, which means we have to have a salesperson.”

While Gilbert understands there may not be a single candidate that possesses all these qualities, he said he is confident the board will be able to hire a qualified president. 

“There’s never going to be a perfect person to take any job, whether it’s being a federal judge or a president of a university, but I think … we’ve seen some people that can fill most of the requirements,” Gilbert said. 

Board extends

 Pembrook’s contract

SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook’s chancellor employment agreement was amended and extended at the September meeting. His contract now runs through June 30, 2023. 

Board approved FY20 operating budget

All voting trustees except trustee Amy Sholar approved the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 operating budget in a roll call vote. 

The budget extensively outlined both appropriated and non-appropriated funds for SIUE, SIUC, the School of Medicine and SIU system offices. The budget shows a less than 1 percent increase over FY19. 

The budget for tuition revenue will see a 6.6 percent decrease from FY19. This is due to a decrease of $10.7 million for Carbondale and a $3.7 million decrease for Edwardsville. 

 Dorsey given option to grant salary increases

In a roll call vote, the board granted System Interim President Kevin Dorsey the ability to grant a 2.75 percent salary increase pool to SIUE as well as a 2 percent increase pool to the School of Medicine. 

Dorsey is also able to determine guidelines for salary increases for staff not represented by a bargaining agreement and for School of Medicine non-physician faculty. 

Rural health, shared 

services committees formed 

Building on previous discussions, the board formed two ad hoc committees surrounding shared services and rural health. 

The Shared Services Study AD Hoc Committee is tasked with looking at ways the system can improve and further create shared services between SIUE and SIUC. 

The committee will consist of trustees Ed Curtis and Roger Tedrick, and board Vice Chair Ed Hightower will be an alternate member. 

Gilbert said he sees the importance in forming a shared services committee as it hopes to reduce costs throughout the system, specifically in the current climate of state funding. 

“We don’t get the state funding that we used to get in higher education; it’s not only the SIU system, it’s throughout the state, and the more we can share services and reduce the cost, the more money we save, the more money goes into programs and academic programs and for the students,” Gilbert said. 

According to the board’s press release, the committee will examine ways healthcare-related schools, offices and offices throughout the system can ensure better health throughout the university’s 66-county footprint. 

Curtis was named the chair of the rural health committee, and other members include Tedrick, SIUE School of Medicine Provost and Dean Jerry Kruse, SIUE Provost Denise Cobb and SIUC Provost Meera Komarraju. 

Pembrook said this aligns with progress being made within the School of Nursing. 

“One of the great things is the timing of this discussion,” Pembrook said. “Our School of Nursing just received a $2.75 million federal grant to expand nurses, nursing practitioners in the downstate area; all of those individuals will be interning at healthcare sites in the southern half of the state, so it aligns very well with what we’re trying to do.” 

In addition to the committee formation helping to create a reputation for SIU as a health care provider, Dorsey said he also believes it will help the southern Illinois region overall. 

“We’ve got a lot to gain from a region being healthy,” Dorsey said. “We’ll have less crime, less illness, less homelessness, et cetera because all of this is tied in.” 

Greenhouse renovation, bus transportation services approved, new naming rights to atrium

The board also approved the expansion and renovation, along with the corresponding budget, of SIUE’s greenhouse. 

The agenda placed the total project estimate at $2,550, 856 and it will be funded largely by the Capital Development Board in addition to private university donations and university reserves. 

The project will more than double the size of the greenhouse by adding a new wing, as well as a workspace and control center. 

Along with approving the greenhouse project, the board also approved contracts with four bus companies: Vandalia Bus Line of Caseyville, Illinois, Chancer LLC of Moweaqua, Illinois, North America Central School Bus of Joliet, Illinois and First Student, Inc. of Glen Carbon, Illinois. 

The contracts are based on the maximum value of $3,500,000 or the contract term that ends June 30, 2029, whichever expires first, and are funded from the department budget requesting bus transportation.

The board agreed to name the atrium in the Engineering Building the “Enterprise Holdings Founding Atrium” in exchange for $1.5 million worth of gifts and pledges from the foundation. 

The next board meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5 at SIUC. 

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